Norwegian Winter And Its Grid Are Powering Down The Tesla Model S
Last week it got cold in Norway for the first time this year, really cold.
And for some Tesla Model S owners looking to go to work last Monday, they found that their new Model S sedans, in conjunction with the Tesla provided portable UMC (universal mobile connector), are having some trouble getting a charge.
The problem was first noted by a few owners in December, but this latest cold snap seems to have expanded the issue to a much wider base. Tesla acknowledge the problem and made a statement over the weekend:
“We’re trying hard to resolve this,” Peter Bardenfleth-Hansen, Tesla’s sales chief for the Nordic and Benelux countries and the UK, told Dagens Næringsliv. “We’re sorry, and don’t like how Norwegian customers are suffering.”
The root of the problem seems to be that the UMC doesn’t hold the charge connection in cold weather. It seems that the Tesla supplied equipment can’t deal with the deadly combination of Norwegian power grid and very cold temperatures.
Reportedly Tesla had been replacing these faulty devices for new ones for those who have been having issues – although that has not yet solved the problem, as some Model S owners have said they have gone through 3 or 4 units.
Tesla engineers has contacted some affected customers with the problem, and have told them they are working on a solution to stabilize the charging connection, including perhaps sourcing equipment from a new supplier.
A Tesla spokesman, Esben Pedersen, told Dagens Næringsliv the system is “too sensitive” for the Norwegian grid.
“We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with the Norwegian network,” Mr. Pedersen said, but noted it was a “challenge” because it’s “different” than other countries.
Tesla is now in the process of putting out new software programming to customers for use when recharging.
Separately, owners of 3rd party equipment have not reporting any issues as of yet in connection with the cold weather or the electrical grid in Norway.
Almost two thirds of all international sales for Tesla have come in Norway, with just under 2,000 sold there in 2013.